Stop asking your hookers to be ready NOW

The “are you available now?” messages truly get under my fuckin skin.

Do you think that we just appear at your locations? We don’t actually have fairy ho mothers that just wiggle their magic wand and we can be dressed, at your location or have ours ready in a flash! We are whores not magicians. Book your sessions ahead. Give us time to be ready for you. This isn’t some hooker on demand shit. We aren’t just sitting pretty waiting for you to call us. Have some respect when you decide to do this shit.

The in call needs to be cleaned and suitable for you to be there and feel comfortable. You want to be in a room of trash on other people’s DNA? Can I wash my snatch? Refresh my breath? Can I make sure you have a clean glass to drink out of if you wanted wine or water? Can you respect our time though?

BH

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#NotASexWorker

I get it now. The reason why we hate sex workers is because we don’t like when women are in control of their own lives and destiny. I see it clear now, that to use sex, the thing that men think they are entitled to, as a means to an end–or to stay independent of men by making them pay for what they think is their birthright, truly disrupts the patriarchy and all this toxic masculinity.

On social media, I often times use the hashtag #NotASexWorker, when I come across news stories that depict some horrid shit happening to people of all ages who are well, NOT SEX WORKERS. The thing is that the trade and the women in the trade get blamed for so much shit that happens to them and within the general society, that I felt it was needed to highlight these tragedies by expressing how sex work had nothing to do with it. Some of the stories are really fuckin gruesome and heartbreaking. From cops raping children to women being murdered by their husbands.  It may seem a bit heartless to tag a post with the hashtag, but it’s also heartless to keep regulating my body with bullshit reasoning when men (and yes I know sometimes women) go on taking advantage of people, committing unspeakable crimes against others, then talk about how sex work is the root to all these problems when clearly it’s NOT.

One of the main themes that had me start this hashtag was the institution of marriage. In this first of many episodes of #NotASexWorker let’s focus on these bride kidnappings. Notice how there is no talk of sex workers here. Just shitty people wanting to control women.

Fuck. I never even knew this was a thing!!

Behold the epitome of male fragility and toxic masculinity. Male entitlement, privilege; and why women need to learn how to fight, shoot a gun and should never ever be nice to men. This was hard to watch.

 

I say to this, don’t you think it’s time we end the institution of marriage? Or regulate it the same way in which the patriarchy wants to regulate women’s bodies? And how about an end to religious practice? It always seems to rear its ugly head in situations such as this. Here is a shorter version of this deplorable, antiquated, male-dominated action against women. Please note: I don’t care if this situation is not in the majority of the countries it takes place. Neither are sex trafficked women/children being forced into the sex slave market at the inflated numbers you have been lead to believe. We also need to dismantle police forces. What is the point of their existence if not to protect ALL its citizens? They always seem to cause more harm than good.

Also, fuck your friends. Bitches are shady. #TrustNoBitch

Respect and honor to be bestowed upon the women that took their own lives to tell men to fuck off.

BH

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let’s talk about how men financially drain women

the myth is that women are gold diggers. while this is true to some regard that a lot of women are out there to get theirs from yours; can we stop acting like men don’t go in for the kill and take a bitch for all she is worth? not just our bodies, when a man decides to use you, they go for our souls.

i’ve been had more than once.

it’s the boyfriends that sleep over all the time and never contribute to the bills or rent. sometimes they have their own places to go to. but if you fall behind, as far as they’re concerned if a bill has to be paid and you don’t have the money, it’s not their problem. this is extremely prevalent among women who receive any form of public assistance: food stamps, subsidized housing, even if that means projects. forget it all if she has kids and gets that earned income credit once a year. the scavengers are out.

i’ve been had by worthless boyfriends excited to eat my food stamp meals, but would be quick to dismiss me as a worthless bitch when shit hit the fan. mind you, they would never contribute to meals but would sit there and have items on the grocery list.

i remember the time my baby daddy told me the apt i went through hell to get by sleeping on cold chairs in a homeless shelter while being pregnant with his baby, degraded by the system, a teenage mother who had to leave the home of my disgruntled mother; enduring mice eating my food i got for me and my toddler son, and taking baths in bathrooms with shit smeared on the walls; said that apartment wasn’t mine. it was the government’s! i didn’t “have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of”. he was about 5 yrs older than me. and if he wasn’t living with me he was going back to mommy and daddy.

then there was Bush, who lived with me for 7 months. and while he was my live-in told people at the office where we both worked that, “just because i’m fuckin’ her don’t mean she my girl.” he was ashamed i was a nude model and former stripper, but that didn’t stop him from sleeping in the bed the government help me get and the subsidized apartment; or from claiming to be paying child support and never had any money. his BM would later tell me he never paid child support. but when tax time came he was happy to go shopping with the money i got for my children, sometimes taking money from me without asking. or eating all the food stamp meals. when he and i broke up, he made sure to let me know i was a bitch “who ain’t got shit. and will never have shit.”

i won’t talk about meeting the overseas men who hear the american accent and think, MONEY! stealing my little money or just plainly watching me pay for things knowing i am low on funds while they look on crying broke.

don’t get it fucked up. it’s also the husbands who do absolutely nothing for your household. some of us have thought that the certificate would make him want to be a provider. it’s either he is or he isn’t.

and back to my baby daddy. one year as i was young and living on my own with the kids for the first time, he took advantage of my ignorance. filed tax returns for both my kids. one of whom didn’t belong to him and he made sure to call a “stupid ass” once upon a time when he was a toddler. he never told me how much money he got back for the kids, just that it wasn’t much. and bought me a $70 microwave which him and his dusty ass mama “split” the cost of. i would later come to realize that he received $8000-$10000 back. the next year when i got hip and my mother had finally done some mothering, i filed for my kids myself for the first time. needless to say, he was PISSED.

i know women after women who have entrusted themselves in men. put their faith in loving them. helped them during difficult times financially, only to be burned by them down the line. one girlfriend i knew helped her boyfriend with $10,000 to help him on his journey to becoming a pro-NFL player. he never did become an NFL player. and no matter what she thought was gonna happen, she never got her money back. in the end, she was called a nigger lover and dismissed by him.

i tell my daughter now, that if her BF is to sleep in the apt she is now looking for, that he HAS to contribute to something. he is not allowed to sleep there without doing anything. anytime i come across a man that plays broke, i remember what my grandmother once said to me, they’re lying. i remember all the countless times i’ve been told by older women that men always have something stashed, don’t believe them when they say they don’t. i’ve also heard this from the men that have cared about me throughout my life.

i think about my 1st pregnancy at 16, and desperately needing sneakers. i asked my now late, first baby daddy, if he could buy me a pair of sneakers: “can YOU buy ME a pair of sneakers!” he scoffed just before hanging up on me. at the time he had just started working a job paying him over a hundred dollars a day.

last year i met a guy overseas. we hit it off well. he was sweet, kind and generous, one night we went out to dinner. when the bill came he looked at it in shock. i took it from him and just covered it cause it was no big deal. the thought plagued me however; why would he take me to a restaurant if he knew he had no money? why didn’t he just tell me he didn’t have any money? that fucked with me for months and was the beginning of my distrust for him.

countless men who haven’t got their shit together find refuge in single women during their time of helplessness. women will, by any means necessary, make things work. one bitch whom i don’t like, rebooted her sex work career when her and her husband fell on hard times, with his encouragement and often times help. when he got sick of her he forgot how her selling sex helped support him and the kids and used her being a prostitute against her to have the courts grant him custody of their children.

countless men prey on women. i am expected, if i decided to seek loving comfort in a man’s arms and he is from a third world country, to come bearing gifts. i am not only a woman, but i am an american one. and if i have small children i am seen as wealth during the spring. my last apt was a 2 bedroom duplex, which one or two men i have tried to date saw as a glimmer of hope when their home lives were unstable.

an interesting lesson i learned from men. interesting because when you enforce this rule with men, they get pretty salty. that lesson was, if a man is not spending money on you, then he is not serious about you. this was my first lesson in whoring even though i was unaware. but it did always confuse me a bit. since i got this message from many of the men in my life growing up, why then were these very men upset at women who either sold sex or would in fact be gold diggers? this is the lesson a lot of young girls are taught. but men knowing this will still get pissed at a woman if she asks him for any kind of cash. regardless of that, it’s true. if he is not going in his pockets he is lying. struggle love is some bullshit. he either gets his shit together or you do what you need to make shit happen without him. of course there are exceptions to every rule. but again, MEN ARE TRASH. men have been using women for their monetary worth since forever. they look at us as a meal ticket, they’re way out. women would in some instances try to sell pussy than try and swindle some guy out of it. i know, #notallwomen

while a man doesn’t have to be pouring money, he should at least be trying to go above and beyond in making sure you are taken care of in this very hard world. if he is not doing above the basics, it’s time to lose him. unless you want to be poor with him and take this ride. it’s up to you. but please let’s stop acting like men aren’t pros at the gold digging game. they do it better than us because to be a man in a man’s world, means power. the only thing is that they can’t quite sell the sexuality like we do. but please believe, if their dicks were as taboo as our pussies and nipples, they’d be charging us triple what we do per hour.

make these scums pay cash money to enter and remain in your lives. you don’t owe them shit.

BH

theme song: Amy Whinehouse, you know i’m no good

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when you fall in love and you’re a heaux

when i first began down this career path (yes i said that) i often heard that “i wasn’t made for this,” a friend and a client assessed. i asked my friend why she said that, and she said because i stop working when i fall in love. the client, one of my first who took advantage of my ignorance, thought the same because, of course, i was so kind and polite and overly generous as a baby whore. i still suffer from my kindness and generosity as i embark on a milestone in this industry:  but that’s because kindness is my nature.

at the time i was being told i was not made for this work because love made me want to focus on my man. or because i was nice, then, like now, it puts a bad taste in my mouth. the idea that a whore should not love is one of the myths that plague us and was ultimately the cause of downfall in my client relationship last year.

to put it to you plainly, stop viewing whores and other sex workers as anything less than human. we are allowed to fall in love. our jobs do not make us any less human than you are when you fall in love with your bosses, teachers, doctors, or over that tired ass nigga that has never done shit for you. when you think of us with this glaring prejudice, it embraces stigmatic attitudes towards us and continues to make our work and lives harder. laws that govern our bodies and our human and labor rights are violated by this attitude that we are somehow immune to being loved and being loving.

[but entitled clients do make us turn into some stone cold bitches. just like any other business, where you learn that you can’t let your customer base take advantage of you so, GAME FACE!]

i thought to write about this because of that fuckin senegalese again. i wrote about him in another post. and i am way too lazy to hunt it down and link it. but the point is that i allowed him to once again piss me off. and while i don’t love him, things he said to me kind of killed my spirit. it made me go into a midday depression sleep. i contemplated my existence, my worth, how i am as a woman; and if being #singleforlife is actually what i want. in other words the nigga killed my whore vibe. mfka told me i was #hardtolove among some other straight BUUUUULLLLSHIT.

womenhardtolove

and this is why i hate men and the power they hold. or how the idea of wanting to find love can be a thorn in my fuckin side. i hate meeting anyone or loving anyone outside of my sister wives because men are TRASH. they ruin everything. i have found that most men i have encountered have done little to uplift me. the best use i’ve had of men have been when i focus on my whoring. in other words, get that money bitch!

love is a distraction, at least for me. when i decide i want to try and give someone my feelings, all i want is that person. and being in the sex industry should not absolve me from these feelings. you mfkz watch way too much TV.  let me say it again, sex is a job. just like when you meet someone and fall in love and all you want to do is spend day and night with them and not want to go to work, it’s the same fuckin thing when you are a whore! where do you people get your fucked up ideals anyway? edit to add: it comes from the patriarchal misogynistic idea that men can fuck women and discard them without loving them. for many men, sex does not equate to love. and whores are unlovable because society in general has sexual suppression. and the madonna/whore complex is still rampant in our culture, embedded via religious ideology. so any woman that can have sex with strangers is dirty. and somehow taking money for sex makes it even more filthy. but mainly, this bullshit idea that SWers can’t fall in love is because the patriarchy views any kind of bold bitch that says fuck the system as an outcast anyway. so stop loving the bitch. and in turn she can’t love you cause she’s really a fuckin robot)

in a perfect world i’d be able to be a whore, make this money, and my man would not think i am dirty or unworthy of being loved because of it. and i’d still be able to love him the same because just as a shrink gives you their mental energy and goes home to their spouses and is able to give them a different love energy, i can do the same while being a sex worker.

but love is a major distraction. and it pains me to want to experience someone outside of work while trying to dominate this industry as an older black woman. the good thing about this last stint at trying to have something with someone (albeit a worthless fuckin liar), is that this time i practiced a little mindful detachment. i liked him just enough to try to hold on, but not enough to not tell him to fuck off and accept his dismissal of me as a gift.

i am worthy of being loved.

and it’s ok if i fall in love and want to tell my work to fuck it. who tf doesn’t do that? who isn’t distracted by the wonders of what a new found potential life or long-term/short-term partner can bring? who hasn’t been mystified by the wonders of new aura, energy and romanticize feelings?

yo, miss me with that i’m a whore so i can’t fall in love shit. sex work is a job title. it doesn’t make us any less human. we love. we have families, partners, feelings, motives. i just can’t fuck with it when i’m trying to survive, because men are trash. and when love shatters, no matter who your partner is, love can be trash too. i legit don’t have time for it. i need to make this money. so to the 2 bums i’ve had to cut loose on my trip around the world, good riddance bitch. i questioned my sanity for about 2 seconds. now let me go suck this dick.

dedicated to blair.

BH

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The truth about whoring

I write to you from the land down under. On a quest to experiment whether or not being a whore in a white white world will indeed make a difference than if i were say, in a melting pot where anyone at any time could have the kind of woman they want.

As some of you may or may not know, i haven’t really whored in quite some time. not since i allowed myself to fall in the pits of the whore goddesses hell and fell madly in love with a client who smashed my heart and killed my soul. the comeback was fuckin hard.

but as i go through a sort of midlife crisis, i decided to take a journey across waters to find myself and regain my inner soul as the bitch willing to suck as many dicks to defeat poverty.

first off, fuck all of you who say this shit is easy. are you fuckin kidding!

my first client in oz was of a guy with a penis so small he couldn’t get it in me. and because of my slight eagerness to finish up this quick session, i forgot to tell him to shower first and had to endure the smell of his wrenk balls. now as you go ewww and judge me, remember this: 1. half you heaux don’t get paid to suck wrenk dick. you do it for free and the mothafucka may not even respect you in the morning. this one will be coming back to give me more of his hard earned cash. (of course i will make him shower first). And 2. Nurses may not suck dick (yes this is a stab at someone in particular #salty), but they come in contact with some intimate parts of their patients. The only thing that separates me and a  nurse are benefits and respectability within the corrupt/hypocritical society we live in. And just to add, half you bitches get your pussy waxed and it’s more intrusive than my pap smear, so fuck you. i endured his tiny dick for less than 30 min and i was $200 richer.

second client, a black man, wanted to know how to make his dick bigger. lord the myth of the big black dick. poor thing. i had to ensure him that he not only is able to get an erection, his erection was a good hard one. he needed to focus more on pleasing his partner and having mindful contact. it’s how ya move it. and if you are into each other. he took all 30 minutes to come because of course, he just had sex not that long ago. bastard. i personally feel like a loser if i can’t get them in and out in 15 min. but c’est la whoring.

the night is still young here. yes, almost 4am. and my eyes are burning. but i journeyed far. no rest for the wicked. i’ll be fuckin all night.

BH

*shout out to all my whores on the ground that made this shit possible! you da real MVP+

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Whore Logic video: PEPSI

That debauchery of a Pepsi commercial got everyone riled up. Even me. And if you come in here talking about, “let’s speak on more important issues.”  I am going to toss you out the door. Why would you even be in here if it weren’t important? Right? Right!

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When even condom brands don’t even want to be bothered with the whores

You would think a condom brand as large as Trojan would be the likely party to position themselves in the fight for sexual health. Especially when it’s pertaining to sex workers. You know the vectors of disease? The harlots that just don’t like to use condoms? Instead they have proven that they could take our money but could careless. Here is some convo on what happened when my director at Desiree Alliance reached out to them:

Yesterday, I tweeted to Trojan condoms about how we provided 16,000 condoms at our 2016 conference and they should sponsor us for next Desiree. I was told they wouldn’t provide us samples for our next conference but, here’s the kicker, “provide us with coupons”.

It has been eating at me ever since!

How the fuck do you not acknowledge that 16,000 condoms were given away at the largest sex worker conference in the US?

How the fuck does one of the lead condom makers not acknowledge that sex workers purchase their wares en masse?

Yeah, if I see 1 motherfucking Trojan condom at our next conference, Ima gonna:

1. Stomp on it with a stiletto
2. set fire to it
3. Poke holes in it
4. Make hand balloons
5. Put a stake thru them and place them east/west/north/south at the far most corners of our space to send a message of fear to their users
6. Berate Trojan condoms at every microphone opportunity I get

#FuckTrojan #CorporateFalsehoods #AlternativeAdvertising

Ho’s are famous for screenshots! Desiree Alliance‏ @DesireeAlliance Apr 5
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@TrojanCondoms We gave 16,000 condoms away at the largest sex worker conference in the US. You should be a sponsor for 2018!
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Trojan Brand Condoms‏Verified account @TrojanCondoms Apr 7
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@DesireeAlliance that’s great – but we can’t provide samples for your project right now. How ‘bout some coupons? http://bit.ly/29YdkBS
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Desiree Alliance‏ @DesireeAlliance 23h23 hours ago
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Our conference is in July 2018 and no thanks, we don’t need your coupons but would love samples or sponsorship.
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Desiree Alliance‏
@DesireeAlliance
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Replying to @DesireeAlliance @TrojanCondoms
How do u not acknowledge 16,000 condoms and the sex workers who purchase your wares en masse? I think sw’s shld rethink your products #SW

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Heaux on traveling: The South African edition

I’ve been in South Africa a full 2 weeks and have not posted on this page much. You have to be following me on other social media for any of what I have been experiencing in Durban to enter your lives. Right now I am still in recovery from food poisoning, which I think I earned from eating a steak at Butcher Block on Florida Road, which had far more more blood in it than I would previously stomach. And by far more I mean some blood as oppose to zero. But I think I have learned my lesson to not try and be like real grown people who eat their steak with a little blood in it. Cause uhm, for the first time in my life i was on the toilet pooping and puking at the same fuckin time and I still think i have not fully recovered. I received a bunch of meds from a pharmacist in town today, thanks to my airbnb host for the lift. And it’s still not helping. I want to violently vomit, poop or severly fart on everything. My stomach is pissed.

That aside I have some strength, and apparently just a little cooperation from the internet to type this up. My stomach bloated about six months in front of me, I can tell you some things about Durban off the bat in case you are thinking of coming. In posts to follow, if I get to it, it will be more precise to things I have done and places I have seen.

  1. Durban is the most art deprived place I have ever been. While there is some art here, they are lacking in so much that I do hope I can return and give this potential city something to talk about. The lack of art shows up all around the city. It’s fuckin ugly and there is a reason why. There is a lack of concentration on creativity.
  2. I take previous statements back about White people not actually the majority of people worldwide. They are! And it is blatant as fuck in a foreign country. I guess my idea is to come to a Black country and not only see Black peop[le working and living, but owning. Well, just like NY and the rest of the White washed world, White people own everything. The Kung-Fu studio, White. The bellydance studio, White. The coffee shops, yes, all White. Unless of course, you go to the hoods of Durban, something I do not recommend without a guide. Then you see everything Black. And it is as dusty as China Town in any neighborhood in America. Crowded, dirty, and has everything on the cheap.
  3. The womens asses are huge and admirable. The men are the ugliest I have seen. Safe to say if I do indeed decide to relocate here for a while, my pussy will be dry to the touch. Cause they are meh at best. It’s a fun fact that I think most men are ugly and I am pretty sure I’m a raging lesbian, so there’s that.
  4. Also, the make up and wig game here is like seeing a bad make-up job on a corpse. I swore I wasn’t going to put this on here, becaue I thought, how rude. But for the love of fuckin God, can someone do some color correction and wig tutorials for these women? I am not saying I am the greatest at this because I am not. But it is really bad out here. Like reeeeaaaallly bad.
  5. The beach  has been my best escape and my point of gloating to those on the east coast who only dream of walking to the beach. I literally can, and have and it has been fabulous. Though getting into the water is tricky as there is no beach culture here. Meaning, there are no lockers to lock up your things. And the beaches barely sell things that are helpful like sun tan lotion. You should come with a buddy and or a car. And if all else fails you can watch the water and sip cocktails at one of the many restaurants which sit right by the beach.
  6. Food can be cheap but you need to know where to shop. WoolWorth’s is expensive. Superspar is reasonable. And veggies/fruits here are seasonal. So don’t get your hopes up abut mangoes in April.
  7. The dollar is worth almost ZAR14 here. A cheap meal can be as low as 80 Rand here. Do the math.
  8. I find most things here I am not interested in buying. Unless they are house goods and some adornments. MEH
  9. Getting your grooming done can be reasonable. Just stay out of the malls, where the prices are “real”. I have some info on places to go just in case you visit.
  10. Hotels are no longer inexpensive like it was last year. The prices have gone way up, some $20 plus dollars depending on where since last July when I was here. Shop wisely whether it be airbnb or hotel. And there are tons and tons of hotels and lodges about town and hostels as well.
  11. There is a water crisis. My airbnb host failed to tell me about the water issue here until I arrived. So from about 9p-6a on a daily there is zero to limited option to use water. But doesn’t seem to be the entire Durban just in more suburban areas. It is not happening near the beach or hotels.

See heaux do more than suck dick and talk about sex. Whatdayanno!

BH

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On the missing girls in DC: there has not been an uptick in human trafficking

I hate to get myself involved in a media induced panic. While I know that Black lives really don’t matter and how we treat Black feminine bodies greatly differs than how we treat White feminine bodies, I couldn’t help but wonder; ‘WTF’ when seeing the stories flood my newsfeed on the missing girls in DC and how no one is saying anything about it.

So I read up on it a bit. And I wondered; are they missing or leaving home? This comes from me being an avid runaway teen myself. And then I read the Sex Trafficking Fear headline and my eyes rolled a bit too much. I can’t with this shit. One gem of a line in mixing of the missing girls and sex trafficking: “As The Free Thought Project pointed out on several occasions, some of these traffickers have been caught in DC–and some of them have been cops.” Seems like we need to be looking in our own backyard. But we won’t. Cause cops get to do what the fuck they want.

One of my favorite colleagues and whore mothers then posted another link to clarify the fear induced, sexual hatred of the media which makes some incredible points:

  1. Missing person cases have been declining
  2. A large percentage of missing teens are leaving home voluntarily
  3. They aren’t minimizing when saying there isn’t an uptick. They just want to be transparent and input it out so everyone can see.
  4. 95% of cases in 2017 have been solved.

Moral of the story: Cut the bullshit. Be mindful of what you read and post. The media is as ill-informed as most of the jackasses out there spreading propaganda and fear. The media loves to stir up shit for clicks and giggles.

As stated in the piece written here: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/dc-police-no-uptick-in-human-trafficking-missing-person-cases-declining “One person missing in DC is one person too many.”

BH

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Why Ashton Kutcher must be stopped

here is a repost of a piece of writing about trafficking’s #1 fan boy. the man himself who sits around and watches child porn (he said it): ASHTON KUTCHER. lord help us.

http://wearyourvoicemag.com/body-politics/ashton-kutcher-tears-anti-trafficking

What Ashton Kutcher represents for me, as a trafficking survivor, is exactly the problem with the global anti-trafficking movement today: paternalism and the trafficking savior complex.

by Laura LeMoon

(Content warning: child sexual assault, trafficking)

With tears brimming his eyes and a quiver in his voice, Ashton Kutcher testified in February at a hearing before the senate foreign relations committee in Washington, D.C. on child sex trafficking.

He discussed, ominously, how he had recently seen a video of a 7-year-old girl in Cambodia being raped. Search for his speech online, and shockingly, no one seems to have one word of criticism for the actor-turned-crusader. Kutcher, who has been championing the fight against sex trafficking for years now, has received little blowback over this speech — despite the fact that he was caught contradicting himself by (allegedly) coming out of a Thai massage parlor in December of 2015. And, according to his own admission, is somehow getting ahold of and watching what is essentially child snuff porn — and then crying about it to the senate, where he’s praised for his compassion.

Unlike Kutcher, I am a trafficking survivor. I have also come to the sex industry at various points of my own choosing and have worked as an escort, adult film performer and street-based sex worker. My identities and ties to the sex industries are neither cohesive nor straightforward. They are complex and non-binary.

What Kutcher represents for me, as a survivor, is exactly the problem with the global anti-trafficking movement today: paternalism and the trafficking savior complex. As a trafficking survivor attending multiple community based anti-trafficking task force meetings, coalition meetings and conferences on a regular basis, it has become abundantly clear to me that there might be — at most — one other trafficking survivor among potentially hundreds of people at these events. This is precisely why Kutcher is problematic.

If there is anything that third-wave, intersectional feminism has taught us, it is that representation matters. Why does it matter? Because without representation, access and inclusion, we are only reinforcing white male patriarchal supremacy. The key to dismantling these hegemonic systems of oppression when you are an ally to the cause and not a survivor is to step aside. Give up your platform and be willing to challenge your personal relationship to power and privilege as someone who has not experienced sexual exploitation.

Being a good ally on the issue of human trafficking means listening, not talking. Survivors are not some abstract notion; we exist. We are not a story for you to rest your ego upon. We are more than just the stereotype and commonly used trope of the Asian massage parlor worker who has no education and speaks no English. In the U.S. it is often English-speaking, educated U.S. citizens who may have been coerced or forced into exploitation by a boyfriend or a parent, or may have been an easy target for sexual exploitation because they are homeless, a runaway youth or a child in the foster care system.

Domestic realities, however, rarely get discussed in anti-trafficking circles in America because white people saving white people is not as sexy and compelling as white people getting to further exercise their savior complex through the racist stereotype of the submissive, obedient Asian sex slave. The savior complex that activists and “allies” typically display is particularly important to be examined through the lens of the white savior complex. It is no coincidence that most of these so-called allies are, in my experience, upper-class white people who seem to continually distance the realities of sex slavery from themselves and reward their egos through the integration of racist stereotypes that they often promulgate as justification for their domination and supremacy in the movement.

Related: Why We Need to Stop Judging the Sex Lives of Sexual Assault Survivors

Survivors are not mythical creatures, fables or symbols for you, Mr. Kutcher, through which to exercise your savior complex. To talk about me as a survivor without including me in that dialogue is to erase my existence. Good ally-ship to support trafficking survivors is about putting your opinions, your thoughts and your values in the back seat while you allow the survivor to tell YOU what is true and what is real. That truth is what really needs to lead our anti-trafficking movement. Not the intellectual masturbation of a wealthy Hollywood actor who is NOT a survivor.

Therefore, you may be asking yourself, “well, if the anti-trafficking movement needs to be survivor-lead, than what specific steps can I take to aid this effort without erasing the agency of survivors?” Good question.

America is obsessed with fetishizing sex trafficking, even though, statistically, labor trafficking is far more common globally. Arguably, this skewed focus that America has on sex trafficking is because of the puritanical “values” of the religious fanatics who invaded this country in 1492 — and the fact that in America, sex is still all about morality, and morality is a huge catalyst for the “justification” these saviors use when getting involved with this cause.

It’s important to keep in mind that sex trafficking intersects with many other social justice issues like homelessness, oppression, institutional racism, economic instability, intimate partner violence and familial abuse and instability. It does not exist in a vacuum, nor is it something that can be — or should be — reduced to a pamphlet. Beware of anyone who says trafficking is either all this or all of that. Given how deeply rooted sex trafficking can be in these other social issues, it cannot easily be dismantled. That must be acknowledged.

If you as an ally want to help survivors of trafficking, that’s great. However, “help” can no longer mean using the backs of actual survivors and their stories as a springboard to stroke your ego and your savior complex. Particularly if you are a heterosexual white cisgender man. Your job is specifically NOT to help by doing, but by undoing.

The difficulty for many in being a responsible and ethical ally to a survivor-lead anti-trafficking movement is that an ally should be personally gaining NOTHING through their activism. In fact, if you are an ally, you should be losing things through your activism; space, voice, recognition, validation, identity and ego. This is precisely why, in the current non-survivor-dominated anti-trafficking movement, I have yet to meet anyone who is not using this cause as a catalyst to obtain more power and privilege for themselves.

It is really up to us as survivors to take back our task forces, coalitions and conferences for ourselves and fight our way back into the center of our own movement. The author of the Anarchist Cookbook, William Powell, has summarized the mission for all of us trafficking survivors moving forward when he says, “power is not a material possession that can be given, it is the ability to act. Power must be taken, it is never given.”

Laura LeMoon is a queer, disabled sex worker, trafficking survivor and writer. She lives in Seattle with her service dog and best bud, Little Bear. 

 

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